6 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2021
    1. Which makes them similar to “commonplace”: reusable in many places. But this connotation has led to a pejorative flavor of the German translation “Gemeinplatz” which means platitude. That’s why I prefer to call them ‘evergreen’ notes, although I am not sure if I am using this differentiation correctly.

      I've only run across the German "Gemeinplatz" a few times with this translation attached. Sad to think that this negative connotation has apparently taken hold. Even in English the word commonplace can have a somewhat negative connotation as well meaning "everyday, ordinary, unexceptional" when the point of commonplacing notes is specifically because they are surprising or extraordinary by definition.

      Your phrasing of "evergreen notes" seems close enough. I've seen some who might call the shorter notes you're making either "seedlings" or "budding" notes. Some may wait for bigger expansions of their ideas into 500-2000 word essays before they consider them "evergreen" notes. (Compare: https://maggieappleton.com/garden-history and https://notes.andymatuschak.org/Evergreen_notes). Of course this does vary quite a bit from person to person in my experience, so your phrasing certainly fits.

      I've not seen it crop up in the digital gardens or zettelkasten circles specifically but the word "evergreen" is used in the journalism space) to describe a fully formed article that can be re-used wholesale on a recurring basis. Usually they're related to recurring festivals, holidays, or cyclical stories like "How to cook the perfect Turkey" which might get recycled a week before Thanksgiving every year.

  2. May 2020
    1. You should construct evergreen (permanent) notes based on concepts, not related to a source (e.g. a book) or an author.

      Your mental models are compression functions. You make them more powerful by trying to use them on new information. Are you able to compress the new information with an already acquired function? Yes, then you've discovered an analogous concept across two different sources. Sort of? Then maybe there's an important difference, or maybe it's a clue that your compression function needs updating. And finally, no? Then perhaps this is an indication that you need to construct a new mental model – a new compression function.

    1. Instead of having a task like “write an outline of the first chapter,” you have a task like “find notes which seem relevant.” Each step feels doable. This is an executable strategy (see Executable strategy).

      Whereas Dr. Sönke Ahrens in How to Make Smart Notes seemed to be saying that the writing of a permanent note (~evergreen note) is a unit of knowledge work with predictable effort & time investment (as well as searching for relevant notes), Andy emphasizes only the note searching activity in this context.

    1. By contrast, when we’re working on a large work-in-progress manuscript, we’re juggling many ideas in various states of completion. Different parts of the document are at different levels of fidelity. The document is large enough that it’s easy to lose one’s place or to forget where other relevant points are when one returns. Starting and stopping work for the day feel like heavy tasks, drawing heavily on working memory.

      One key difference between working with atomic, evergreen notes compared to a draft manuscript is that the ideas in the manuscript are at different levels of evolution / fidelity. The ideas in the evergreen notes are all evolved components.

    1. Instead, nurture the wild idea and let it develop over time by incrementally writing Evergreen notes about small facets of the idea.

      If you cannot tackle a subject head on, tackle it obliquely by writing evergreen notes about facets of the idea.

      This is an interesting way of reducing the scope of, say, an essay, without sacrificing quality. Instead of writing the whole thing, just write an atomic piece about one of the concepts you need for the larger piece.

  3. Apr 2019
    1. stressful but fascinating

      It seems like these two words sum up this last week pretty well for a majority of the group. There has been a lot of information to take in, within a short amount of time. Although it has been a bit on the chaotic side here and there, most of the class can agree that the more we see, the more fascinating it becomes. I think everyone is looking forward to attaining more clarity for the program as a whole. The enthusiasm is contagious. It seems the whole process is new for everyone, and everyone is excited for the adventure.